5 Teaching Tips for the New School Semester

Before you know it, the new semester will arrive. A new crop of students, a new set of challenges, a new period of learning. It is exciting but daunting at the same time.

Armed with an education degree, you will be teaching students – elementary or secondary – mathematics, Canadian history, English literature, chemistry, or any other subject.

You are indeed situated in an environment where children can improve their minds rather than park themselves in front of a television and play video games. This is your opportunity to ensure the next generation is equipped with the knowledge and skills to participate in and contribute to society.

Are you ready? Of course you are. Just be prepared for teaching students in 2018:

Here are five teaching tips for the new semester for new graduates:

1. Stay Positive Throughout the Entire Year

Teaching a class of 30, 35, or 40 kids every day for six months can be an overwhelming, stressful, and headache-inducing endeavour. One child is misbehaving, one child is struggling, one child is distracted. It’s oftentimes tough to be a teacher. But this is what you wanted, and it is important to persevere Monday to Friday.

From your very first day to the last day before the summer break, it is imperative to stay positive.

Yes, this can be difficult when you feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. However, if you concentrate on the positive and tackle the negative, it won’t be hard to achieve.

2. Why So Serious? Lighten Up a Bit

We all had that one teacher who was a miserable, strict, and hebetudinous person. Everything from the grades she handed out to how she corrected misbehaving, she wasn’t a happy teacher.

Here’s a question: why so serious?

Once you step foot in that classroom, you are a field general – and first impressions do matter. So, rather than being a morose instructor, you should lighten up a bit. Unless the situation calls for it, you should refrain from being stern, perturbed, or outraged.

Be kind, but firm. Be understanding, but penalize. Be strong, but don’t be overbearing.

3. Establish Rules – Correct Misbehaviour

For the next little while, you will be head of the classroom. Your students will be looking to you for guidance, boundaries, and education. It is your responsibility to both lead and teach.

What does this mean exactly? You need to establish rules for the classroom: no cellphone use, no bullying, no eating, no uncouth remarks. Should any student break these guidelines, then they need to be punished. This could consist of no recess, staying after school to clean the chalkboard, or paying a visit to the principal’s office.

There is a fine line between being easy going and allowing rowdy behaviour.

4. Don’t Resist Technology – Embrace It

Let’s face it: in 2018, technology is everywhere. You can’t resist its entry into the classroom.

It is true that some schools have an abundance of equipment, while others are not so fortunate. That said, if you so happen to work in a school that does have an ample supply of computers, smartphones or tablets – or all of your students have these devices – you should embrace it.

By incorporating technology into your lesson plans, especially if it is in relation to history, English, science, and others, you can amplify their learning.

5. Always Continue Your Own Education

No one will ever argue the fact that teaching a bunch of fourth-graders or teenagers is easy. It isn’t. It is exhausting. You just want to get home, plop yourself on the sofa, and binge-watch Woody Allen motion pictures.

It may seem tempting, but you must refrain from being passive after work.

One of the best things you can do for yourself and your career – and perhaps even the children – is to continue your own education.

This could consist of improving your skills, obtaining another degree, learning a new topic, and taking additional teaching courses. As long as you continually enhance your own education, credentials, and acumen, you can become a celebrated, hardworking, and brilliant teacher.

There is something else to remember: the way children are learning is different. Don’t get left behind; adapt to their needs.

With an education degree, you can stand up in front of kids and teach them the history of the Byzantine Empire, what quantum physics is, how you can build your own miniature volcano, and what the democratic process is like. It is rewarding and rich to go through teacher training and become a teacher.

But, like every other industry on this planet, education is evolving – or, at the very least, just catching up. Indeed, teaching in 2018 is very different from teaching in 1968. Everything from the behaviour of children to the various technological distractions, teachers have a lot to contend with – and it isn’t easy.

Stay positive, stay up-to-date, and stay on top of your own human capital.

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